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Is it time to get snappin’? How to figure out if your brand should be on Snapchat
May 9, 2016 | Emily Bettridge

Should your brand be on Snapchat

Move over Twitter – these days, Snapchat is the fastest-growing social networking platform. Between 2015 and 2016, Snapchat grew as much as Twitter grew during the past four years combined.

What’s Snapchat, you ask? It’s hugely popular among the younger crowd and what makes it unique is that it is solely a smartphone app, available to both iOS and Android users. Snapchat pretty much boils down to this:

  1. Send picture or video to friend.
  2. Friend opens picture or video.
  3. Picture or video expires after two to 10 seconds – never to be seen again.

Snapchat is different from other social media platforms because the app most accurately allows users to share real life experiences. With the exception of the filters that can be applied to videos and images, posts show exactly what’s going on at the moment the sharer wants to share. And, just like real life, these moments are gone in a snap. (See what I did there?)

With such a unique platform, you should be sure that allocating time and energy toward marketing on Snapchat will be worth your while. That’s why we urge to ask yourself these two basic questions before you take the Snapchat plunge.

Do you REALLY know your audience?

Do you really, truly know the people who will be looking at your Snapchat? If you don’t know the specifics of your audience, start there. As with any marketing strategy, the more you know about your target audience, the better you’ll be able to refine your marketing tactics and get the most bang for your buck.

According to Snapchat’s statistics, there are more than 100 million daily active Snapchatters. More than 60 percent of U.S. 13- to 34-year-old smartphone users are on Snapchat. Of that, 37 percent are between ages 18 and 24, 26 percent are between ages 25 and 34, and 23 percent are between 13 and 17. This means that more 20-somethings are using Snapchat than teenagers.

So … if your target demo is in the 13- to 34-year-old range, it’s time you seriously consider this platform in your marketing program.

Do you have something visual to share?

This might sound like a “Duh” question, but hear me out.

Snapchat is unlike Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. You have to do more than just think of a witty line or a clever #TBT. You have to have something visual to share in the moment, many moments a day, many days a week.

This is hard work. But keep in mind that the resulting authenticity will really strengthen your brand by creating transparency and making it appear more human. Showing your audience what’s happening, in nearly real time, and with no editing or photoshopping, helps create an incredibly personal connection with your audience. It’s worth it!

There are lots of content opportunities. Think of content on Snapchat as less “buy our stuff/service” and more “these are the goofy people and things behind the scenes.” Create snaps that serve as a window into your company. By giving people to the chance to better get to know you and your brand, they will be more likely to consider your brand in a future purchasing decision.

Show off your brand from the inside using 10-second videos, or “stories”, or create a geofilter so that anyone in your area can use their own Snapchat accounts to show off your brand. Since the stories only last for 24 hours, consumers are constantly checking in to not miss a thing.

Taking it to the next level

Just like any full-fledged social media platform, Snapchat has graciously made it possible for brands to advertise on its platform and curate content. Isn’t that sweet? This means you can have advertisements in the “Discover stories” area, such as Food Network, Discovery Channel, or in Live stories, such as the Mother’s Day Live Story. Discover stories are crafted by marketers, while live stories are a compilation of users’ snaps.

These full-screen advertisements have nine times the completion rate than smaller, horizontal ads found on mobile websites. These ads need to be short, sweet and to the point: just the thing that your fast-paced, social media-savvy audience needs to get a taste of your marketing.

Geofilters are another handy marketing tool available on Snapchat. When you have your phone’s location services on, Snapchat will provide geofilters that are specific to your location. For example, when you are standing on the University of Iowa campus (Go Hawks!) and snap a picture, geofilters with Iowa’s logo appear among the other filters. Simply snap the picture, and then swipe to the left or to the right to add a filter! You can either pay to create a filter with your logo, or create a free filter for events, special days or just because.

Plus, if you promote your Snapchat account on your Facebook and Twitter pages, making posts about connecting to Snapchat or telling your audience that there are images/coupons/backstage access they can only see on Snapchat, you will become an unstoppable social media marketing machine.

Ready to explore Snapchat as a tool in your marketing arsenal? Take a look at these power-Snappers to get an idea of the different ways to use Snapchat in your marketing program:

Taco Bell (username: tacobell)

General Electric (username: generalelectric)

MTV (username: mtv)

Ellen DeGeneres (username: ellen)

And if you’ve got questions, just give us a shout. We’re always happy to help!

 

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